Death of a Republic

Thanks to Mitch McConnell and Trump, the Supreme Court has indeed become an assembly of political hacks. The leaking of a draft opinion overturning Roe v Wade has resulted in a firestorm of (un)righteous indignation.

For the record, I am not a fan of abortion, but I am a realist. It is not my place to impose my will over another person’s God given free will.

  • God gave us free will, but the Supreme Court does not.
  • Murder has been illegal for centuries, but people still kill one another.
  • Stealing has been illegal for centuries, but we still have burglaries, robberies, embezzling, etc.
  • From 1920 until 1933, drinking alcoholic beverages was illegal. Prohibition’s main legacy was to make organized crime rich and powerful, but people still drank.
  • Lying to government agents, to a court, or to Congress is illegal, but seems to be ignored.

The Trump appointees were questioned about respecting precedent—the previous rulings of the Supreme Court—and nominees Gorsuch and Kavanaugh outright lied under oath. By rights, they should be held liable for perjury.

Barrett fudged her answer by saying it was not a super precedent. A decision is either a precedent or not—it’s like death. A person is either dead or not dead; there is no such thing as super-dead. By her logic, are some laws lesser than others and breaking them means nothing?

Unfortunately, the Supreme Court neither has standards of conduct nor a moral compass as seen by Justice Thomas’s lack of ethics. It has been my experience that every government employee—civilian or military—is required to take annual ethics training. One of the key concepts is that federal employees must avoid EVEN THE APPEARANCE OF UNETHICAL BEHAVIOR.

The Supreme Court sees itself as above the law. The last few years have seen a loss of faith in the legislative branch. Trump trashed the executive branch. I guess it was inevitable that the judicial branch would follow suit.

Finally, there are those who claim that the Constitution does not specifically authorize the right to certain things, including abortion. While that is true, our basic underlying concept is that the government receives its power from the will of the governed. A similar issue is reiterated in the bill of rights:

Ninth Amendment

The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

Tenth Amendment

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

When asked what kind of government the founding fathers had devised, Benjamin Franklin replied, “A republic, if you can keep it.”

I guess we can’t keep it.

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